OpEd: Southland Black Businesses Celebrate Governor’s Signing of Southland Airport Bill With Some Concern (Tinley Park, IL) – Last week, Governor J.B Pritzker signed House Bill 2531 that makes way for an RFQ for potential developers of the Southland Airport. Home to the largest inland port in the world, the Southland and entire world would stand to benefit tremendously from the building of a third airport. Each day, tons of freight move through the Southland by means of roads, waterways, rail, and air. The third airport would increase efficiency in moving cargo and would be an economic boon for the area, bringing many businesses and thus jobs to the Southland.
While I’m extremely excited for this new development, I’m also very concerned. The current efforts to advocate for a Southland airport have not been as unified as we would hope. Currently, the black business community who have advocated for years, and most recently have dedicated tremendous resources to helping in this development, have not been given proper communication from some organizations and other stakeholders. While our State Representatives and State Senators have worked well with us, other organizations have not. It would be a travesty if in 2023, we allow a Southland Airport to be built in an area with our demographic, that Southland Black businesses be left on the sidelines wondering how they will participate. Countless efforts to work with the other groups that have been advocating for the Southland Airport have fallen on deaf ears.
Working Hard for Southland Businesses
We are currently working overtime to catch up. We plan to continue to extend an olive branch to those who wish that we would just sit back and not try to participate. We also plan to continue to advocate with our local U.S. Congress Representatives to gain as much information as possible. The Southland Black Chamber of Commerce is planning a Legislative Update Luncheon in September. We believe that unity is a must for a successful Southland, and thus, a successful Southland airport.
OpEd: Southland Black Businesses Celebrate Governor’s Signing of Southland Airport Bill With Some Concern